Charter: Women Can’t Be Voters

SISTERSVILLE – Ann Doig expected to have a busy day today. After all, she took on the role of mayor Monday in a community whose charter prohibits women from even casting a vote.

Doig has been a member of Sistersville City Council for eight years. She was appointed mayor Monday, after David Fox resigned from the post. In the midst of his fourth term as mayor, Fox moved to Wheeling to be closer to his wife’s place of employment, Doig said.

Council unanimously accepted Fox’s resignation.

“I feel I’m qualified for the job,” Doig said, noting she will hold the office until municipal elections are conducted in March. She does not intend to run for the office in the spring.

Doig acknowledged that the city’s charter, which has been revised three times, states that only men can vote. But regarding the replacement of a mayor, she said it states only that council shall appoint an interim mayor.

“Even though there’s some silly stuff in there, our attorney advised us that we cannot go against the Constitution,” Doig added, pointing out that women are permitted to vote in Sistersville. “That’s one of the things I want to work on after I get settled in. But to change a charter is extremely expensive.”

Even though Doig does not intend to run for mayor in March, she said she sought the post Monday because she has been involved with several projects that she wants to see completed.